Power Nutrient #5: Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal BMI is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

tomato

Power Nutrient #5:  Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

By seeking out vegetables of varying colors (BEST CHOICE:  tomatoes), you’ll automatically get a range of phytonutrients, each of which has its own particular health-promoting strengths.

These colorful plant foods also happen to be incredible sources of soluble and insoluble fiber – both essential for hormone balance and impossible to get from animal products.

The UCLA Center for Human Nutrition’s color-code system divides vegetables into several distinct color groups; I’ve adapted their system here.

Orange:  Foods high in beta-carotene include many orange foods, like carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and mangoes.

Researchers believe beta-carotene helps cells speak with one another more fluently, increasing your body’s ability to avoid cancer.

Beta-carotene also plays an important role in the production of progesterone during pregnancy.

Yellow:  Most citrus foods fall into this category, and the vitamin C in citrus can also help us manage stress.

A German study made subjects stand in front of a huge group of people and do math problems.

Those who received 1 gram of vitamin C had much less cortisol and lower blood pressure than those who had not.

Purple:  We talked about some of the powerhouse purples in the berry post.

Other purple fruits and vegetables, including grapes and olives, have high levels of resveratrol, a type of plant antibiotic with tremendous promise in antiaging, anti-inflammatory, and blood-sugar-lowering effects.

Even when rats were fed diets high in hydrogenated trans fats, resveratrol reduced their risk of death by 30%.

Red:  All red fruits and veggies share the phytochemical lycopene, a powerful cancer-fighting antioxidant.

Several studies found men with the highest blood levels of lycopene had the lowest risk of developing prostate cancer.

Lycopene also stops oxidative stress, the process by which LDL particles harden and gunk up your arteries.

When healthy adults avoided lycopene for 2 weeks, their fat oxidation jumped by 25%.

One of the richest sources of lycopene on the colorful vegetable and fruit list actually qualifies as both:  the tomato.

One cup of tomatoes gets you almost 60% of your daily value of vitamin C for just 37 calories.

You might not imagine it, but tomatoes are also a very good source of fiber:  1 cup yields almost 8% of your daily needs and helps you counter high blood sugar.

Hormone HomeworkHave 5 servings per day.

>Try for at least 1 serving from each color category each day to get a good balance of varied phytonutrients.

>Fruit salads, salsa, smoothies, tossed salads – any dishes that include a rainbow of color help you in your colorful fruit and vegetable allotment for the day.

>Cooking tomatoes concentrates their power:  tomatoes heated for 2 minutes increases their lycopene and antioxidant activity by 50%; 30 minutes increases them by 150%.  Choose organic sauce, paste, ketchup – all have greater lycopene content with no HFCS.

>In contrast, many other colorful veggies lose their potency with cooking.  Eat a combination of raw and cooked vegetables to cover all bases.

>When in doubt, keep the skin on.  Lots of insoluble fiber hides in the carrot, apple, or pear skin.

>Shop for produce in season, and always look for organic first.  Check out www.localharvest.org for a market near you or sign up for a subscription to a CSA (community-sponsored agriculture) farm (www.localharvest.org/csa).  If you’re concerned about your food bill, I’ll be giving you a list of essential organic choices in an upcoming post.

>Fall in love with low-sodium tomato juice, very low in calories but incredibly filling – one 6-ounce serving gives you 33 milligrams of vitamin C for only 30 calories.

>If you’re in a rush, buy some fresh salsa – without preservatives – from the produce section of your grocery store.  Eat a cup with lunch and get tomatoes, peppers, and onions all at the same time.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Jillian’s book, you can get it here: Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!

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Dick and Lenay

email: Lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

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